Could You Be A Councillor in Guildford?

Be A Councillor, Guildford Borough Council

What matters to you in your local area? Is it that Guildford is the most desirable place to live, work and visit in South East England. A centre for education, healthcare, innovative cutting edge businesses, high quality retail and wellbeing. A county town set in a vibrant rural environment, which balances the needs of urban and rural communities alike. Known for our outstanding urban planning and design, and with infrastructure that will properly cope with our needs. Whatever needs changing in your local area, you could be the person to change it by becoming a councillor.

Guildford Borough Council can only be as effective, relevant and vibrant as the people elected to run it. The Council needs councillors who are capable, energetic and engaged, with a commitment to local people and a passion for change.

Decisions made by councillors affect the lives of everyone in the area in countless ways. Representing a population of over 143,000 across the Borough, understanding the issues and concerns they face and taking action are the most important tasks that any councillor undertakes.

On Thursday 2 May 2019, all 48 Guildford Borough Council seats are up for election. This is an opportunity for you to stand as a representative of your local community and become a borough councillor.

If you think being a Guildford Borough councillor is for you, test your eligibility to stand and find out more.

Find out about Guildford Borough Council

Local Councillors are the elected representatives of Guildford Borough Council. They are elected for four years unless they are elected at a by-election, in which case they must stand again at the next normal election for the seat.

Representing people in Guildford, understanding the issues and concerns they face and taking action is the most important task that any councillor undertakes. Significantly, it is also often the role that local people value most.

Guildford Borough Council is made up of 48 councillors who are elected every 4 years. They represent the 22 wards in the borough. The number of councillors for each ward depends upon the size of the electorate.

You can find out more about the political make-up of the Council, by clicking here: https://www.guildford.gov.uk/yourcouncil

Hear from Members of the Councillor Development Steering Group

Councillor Mike Parsons

I had for a very long time, an interest in local politics and how individuals can influence decisions that directly affect local communities. There was an opportunity to become involved with local community groups and applied to become a Parish Councillor to return something to my community with a chance to represent them and their views on making an investment directly in the community. It then transpired that I was invited to take that extra step to represent my community at the next level a step I felt that I could make a greater contribution.

Councillor Mike Hurdle

I was elected as one of the Send Ward councillors in 2015. My career was in Education; and I had worked as the Deputy Headteacher of a Woking Junior School, and had been involved with the management of an Out of Hours club for children attending the school.

I stood for election to represent the village in which I once worked, I’ve lived there for over twenty years, and I had a wish to represent views about the Local Plan which will shape Guildford for years to come. Since being elected, I have served on the Corporate Governance and Standards Committee, which monitors finance and the general good running of the Council; on the Licencing Committee and its sub-committees, which deal with e.g., people licensed to sell alcohol or drive taxis and private hire vehicles; and I’ve taken part in a number of working parties.

For many years I have also acted with and directed for the Send Amateur Dramatic Society, which is where I met my wife, Debbie. I drive for the village Help organisation, and sing as a baritone with the Guildford Barbershop Harmony Club, which I also chair.

Councillor Colin Cross

I was first elected at a by-election in September 2014 and subsequently retained my Guildford Borough seat in the May 2015 elections, with an increased majority.

I have lived with my family in Ripley, Surrey, for over 40 years and have been active in many fields during that time, running local businesses, being a school governor and treasurer, and even being a regular pantomime dame during the 1990’s!

I decided to stand as a councillor as my small community in Lovelace Ward only amounts to some 2,000 people and the GBC developing Local Plan would see this increased to around 7,000 over the next 20 years.   My concerns are manifold and include the lack of necessary infrastructure, the increase in congestion on the nearby A3 and M25 trunk roads, air quality and the environment to name a few.

I vow to fight this plan until it is finally defeated, or I am, and that may be a long time yet!

Councillor Angela Gunning

‘Being a Borough Councillor has given me so much insight into how the services in Guildford are organised and run, and being able to participate in planning their delivery. I enjoy speaking to residents, understanding their problems and helping to sort things out.   And not just that, but also being able to contribute in keeping Guildford a lovely and safe place to live.’

Key Dates

Council meetings are usually held in the evening starting at 7pm but can occasionally occur during the day.

The following link takes you to the Council’s calendar of meetings, which will give you an idea of the number and frequency of meetings:

http://www2.guildford.gov.uk/councilmeetings/mgCalendarMonthView.aspx?GL=1&bcr=1

You can also watch our meetings live via the Council’s webcasting facility:

https://guildford.public-i.tv/core/portal/home

In the run up to the election, we will update this page with key dates for new councillors to be aware of.

If you have trouble accessing the quiz, please email elearning@local.gov.uk

TAKE THE QUIZ

TAKE THE QUIZ

If you have trouble accessing the quiz, please email elearning@local.gov.uk

TAKE THE QUIZ

TAKE THE QUIZ

How do I become a councillor in Guildford??

To become a councillor you have to stand at local elections and compete with other candidates to gain the most votes from the local electorate.

You do not have to belong to or represent a political party to stand in the elections. You can stand as an Independent Candidate or choose not to have a description to your name. If you wish to represent a political party it must be one of the parties registered with the Electoral Commission.

If you choose to stand for a party you will need to go through their selection process before you can be put forward as their candidate.

If you would like to find out more about being a councillor for a political party please visit:

http://www.local.gov.uk/political-groups

If you are interested in other political parties, please view the Register of Political Parties.

www.electoralcommission.org.uk/party-finance/PEF-online-registers

What next?

In order to stand at the elections you must first get a set of nomination papers from Electoral Services at Guildford Borough Council, which will explain the nomination process. These packs are available nearer the election date. Information about Guildford’s Electoral Services is available here:

https://guildford.gov.uk/elections

FAQs

Before the Election:

Are there any legal requirements to becoming a councillor?

Yes. The legal requirements to stand as a councillor are as follows:

 

To qualify as a candidate you must be:

  • Over 18 years of age on the day of nomination;
  • A United Kingdom, Commonwealth or EU citizen;

 

You must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be registered as a voter in the council area;
  • Have lived in the council area for the past 12 months (though not specifically in the ward you wish to stand);
  • Have occupied as owner or tenant of premises or land in the council area for the past 12 months;
  • Had your main place of work in the council area for the past 12 months.

 

You cannot stand for election if you:

  • are subject to a bankruptcy restrictions order;
  • have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of three months or more, during the past five years;
  • work for the borough council or hold a politically restricted job at another council.
  • have been disqualified under legislation relating to corrupt or illegal practices

I’m still not sure about whether I am eligible to be a councillor at the 2019 election. How can I find out?

Test your eligibility or read the Electoral Commission’s guidance.

I would like to be a candidate for a political party. Who should I contact?

For contact information about each of the political groups, please see the tab above this one named ‘How do I become a councillor in Guildford’.

How can I stand for council without joining a political party?

You can stand for council without belonging to a political party. You might find it helpful to read the Electoral Commission’s guidance for independent candidates.

Do I need to appoint an election agent?

It is advisable to appoint an election agent to act on your behalf. Your agent would, amongst other things, ensure that your forms are sent in correctly, keep a detailed record of financial expenditure for submission after the election and generally organise your campaign ensuring that it is lawful.

How do I find out which electoral ward I live in?

You can find out which ward you live in by clicking on the link below and using the post code search facility.

After the Election:

Will I get paid to be a councillor?

Councillors are not paid a salary but they are entitled to receive a ‘basic allowance’, which is intended to recognise the time devoted to their work on behalf of the people of Guildford and in connection with council business.

Each council sets its own rate for councillors’ allowances, and you can find out more information from https://www.guildford.gov.uk/article/18872/Councillors-allowances

How much time will it take?

How much time you spend on your duties as a councillor is largely up to you and will depend on the particular commitments you take on. The precise amount of time will depend on the roles and commitments each councillor takes on and can vary considerably. On average councillors can spend up to twenty-five hours per week, but the time spent can increase for members allocated to leading roles, such as Executive Members or a Committee Chairman.

You will be expected to attend council meetings and meetings of committees to which you have been appointed, which are mostly held during the evening. As with most things in life, what you get back will depend on how much you put in. However, remember, the amount of time you give to it is almost entirely up to you.

Before you consider becoming a councillor, you may want to discuss it with your family and friends to make sure they understand what you are taking on. You will need their support, as you will have to spend some of your spare time on council business.

Will I get time off work?

Yes. By law if you are working, your employer must allow you to take a reasonable amount of time off during working hours to perform your duties as a councillor. The amount of time given will depend on your responsibilities and the effect of your absence on your employer’s business.

You should discuss this with your employer before making the commitment to stand for election.

What support will I receive?

Guildford Borough Council is committed to providing councillors with advice and support for all aspects of their role. After an election, all new councillors have the opportunity to attend an induction programme to enable them to meet the key people who will support them in their role and attend events to familiarise them with the work of the council, the expectations of councillors and ways in which they can carry out key tasks.

Councillors are also provided with ongoing learning and development support to broaden their knowledge, skills and confidence. In the first few weeks, experienced councillors will be available to guide you in getting to know the workings of the borough council and your role within it. Committee Services will be your point of contact to signpost you round the council for the first couple of months.

IPads will be issued at the reception day for newly elected councillors. Arrangements will be made with those councillors that have been re-elected to retain their current IPads. We will provide a secure app for Androids and IPads that will enable you to remotely access the Council’s systems, email, calendar, contact information as well as Council and Committee papers. Remote access can also be facilitated via councillors’ own home laptops/and or tablet devices.

All councillors are expected to provide at their own expense, a private ADSL broadband connection and computer hardware, including a printer and consumables. ICT staff can assist and advise councillors but will not be able to place orders on their behalf.

Mobile phones are issued to all councillors that sit on the Executive, the Chairmen and the Leaders of the Political Groups.

What support is available for councillors with disabilities?

An audio loop system is available in Council Chamber for people with a hearing impairment. Councillors are encouraged to contact Member Services following their election to discuss their personal needs so that reasonable adjustments can be made.

How can I find out about Member training and development?

Email sophie.butcher@guildford.gov.uk for further information.

Electoral ward maps for Guildford Borough Council

Click on the link below to access maps showing the electoral wards in Guildford.

Events

Coming soon

Useful Resources

Be a councillor | Stand for What you believe in

A guide to being a councillor – A summary publication that outlines the role of a councillor and how the council works, and provides contact details for further information.

Be a councillor guide for disabled people

An interactive workbook, providing a more detailed, practical understanding of the role of a county councillor.

The Electoral Commission Candidate and Agent guidance – a link to all of the current guidance for Candidates and Candidate Agents

Useful contacts

LGA contact

Virginia Ponton
Adviser – Leadership and Localism

Tel: 0207 664 3272
Email: beacouncillor@local.gov.uk

Guildford Borough Council contacts

John Armstrong
Democratic Services Manager

Committee Services
Guildford Borough Council
Millmead House
Millmead
GU2 4BB

Tel: 01483 444102
Email: john.armstrong@guildford.gov.uk

Electoral commission contact

The Electoral Commission (main office)
3 Bunhill Row
London EC1Y 8YZ

Tel: 0333 1031928
Email: pef@electoralcommission.org.uk

Political Group office contacts

Guildford Conservatives

17A Home Farm
Loseley Park
Guildford
GU3 1HS

Tel: 01483 300330
Fax: 01483 300321
Email: info@guildfordconservatives.com

Liberal Democrats

96 London Road
Guildford
GU1 1TH

Tel: 01483 829305 (landline)
Email: office@guildfordlibdems.org.uk

Guildford Greenbelt Group

Email: ggg@guildfordgreenbeltgroup.co.uk

Labour

9b Martyr Road
Guildford
Surrey
GU1 4LF

Tel: 01483 511272
Twitter: @GuildfordLabour
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/guildfordlabour/

Guildford Green Party

Mr Mark Parry

Email: info@guildford.greenparty.org.uk

The Peace Party – Non-Violence, Justice, Environment

Mr John Morris

Website: http://peaceparty.org.uk/what-is-the-peace-party/